Summit County Library director named Utah’s librarian of the year
The Utah Library Association named Summit County's Dan Compton Librarian of the Year at the annual conference. The association bases its awards on the most outstanding contributions to librarianship and nominations from peers.
Dan Compton has worked with the Summit County library for 18 years, 11 of those as its director. Last week at a luncheon in Layton, he was awarded the Librarian of the Year for his outstanding contributions to librarianship.
Compton said he’s loved books since he was a child and consumes about a book a week while he commutes from the Salt Lake Valley to work in Summit County. He was surprised to learn that his staff members nominated him for the award.
“When I got the email about it, I was just completely shocked,” Compton said. “It meant the world to me that they thought that highly of me to even nominate me for that award. So that's, that's way more important to me than the award itself.”
Compton said his career as the Summit County Library director keeps him busy with the Kimball Junction branch and beyond.
“We also have the Kamas Valley branch and the Coalville branch,” he said. “We also operate a bookmobile that serves the rural parts of the county and some of the local schools and senior centers. And then we also have a couple of locker systems. So lots going on at the Summit County Library.”
Compton said he got the idea for a locker system at a library conference in 2017. He applied for a grant from the county and the first locker was installed in Henefer last year, a rural community in Summit County that is about 20 miles round trip from the nearest library.
“This is one of the reasons why I think I got the award we're talking about, and I think it's just an innovative program that hadn't been done yet in Utah,” he said. “And they've been really successful. I just love it gives people access even if they can’t get to the library during our normal business hours.”
Compton explained how the locker system in Henefer works. There’s a locker with a digital screen on the door that was installed in the building where the town council meets. A library patron logs into the Summit County Library website and requests books from the collection and an employee from a Summit County location delivers the order to the locker.
“They just scan their card and it will open the locker door that has their materials in it,” he said. “And now they can just request anything they want and we'll bring it out to them. And they don't have to go anywhere, except, you know, to get access to this locker.”
Compton said the cool thing about the locker in Henefer is that it’s located right next to a local park. He said one of the library employees told a local boy that if he had a library card he could get books anytime he wanted.
“This kid was just like, so excited to know we can get you stuff whenever you want,” he said. “We'll bring it out to you, and it'll be ready for you. And it's right at the park, you can just get in. As long as you have your library card, you can get access.”
There are Summit County Library branches in Kamas and Coalville with the largest branch in Kimball Junction.
Find the Summit County Library hours and locker locations here.